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Iowa Legislature: New bills on distracted driving, car seats |

Iowa's 2023 legislative session begins Monday, Jan. 9.

Before lawmakers head back to the statehouse to get to work, bills are already being pre-filed. 

One such proposal from the Iowa Department of Public Safety cracks down on cellphone use in vehicles. Under the legislative file, cellphone use while driving is prohibited unless the driver is using it in a hands-free or voice-activated mode.

There are also exceptions for the driver to use a phone to report an emergency or to receive safety-related information. 

Certain professions — like police, health care workers, and mass transit drivers — are also given certain exemptions should they need to use a cellphone while working, or in an emergency. 

The second proposal from DPS aims to change laws regarding car seats in Iowa, claiming the state's laws are some of the laxest in the Midwest. 

Currently children under one-year-old and weighing less than 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing car seat. The proposal would change this to children under three years old and weighing less than 30 pounds. 

And instead of kids needing to be in a car seat until age 6, the Department of Public Safety is suggesting that be changed to children under the age of 8.

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Iowa Legislature: New bills on distracted driving, car seats |

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